Obi-Wan Kenobi reveals that not all clone army veterans became stormtroopers. In fact, some even suffered fates darker than serving the Empire.
During the Clone Wars, the clone army was deployed all over the galaxy, and Obi-Wan Kenobi exposes what happened to some of them after Order 66 and the fall of the Galactic Republic. First appearing in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones, the clone troopers were essential to the war effort against the Separatist movement. They fought side-by-side with the Jedi, forming friendships and developing unique quirks, but ultimately, all clones were bound by a behavior modification biochip implanted by the Sith and forced to do the bidding of Palpatine. In the end, they were the key to Darth Sidious’ conquest of the galaxy and the death and destruction of the Jedi Order in Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.
The clone army was created before the rise of the Separatist cause when Jedi Master Sifo-Dyas believed the galaxy would soon fall into conflict and that the only way to ensure the Republic’s safety was to create an army loyal to the Jedi and the Council. However, his views were not well received by the Jedi Council, and he was eventually cast out of it. Determined to fulfill his vision, Sifo-Dyas commissioned the Kaminoans to create an army of clones without the Council’s authorization or the Galactic Senate’s knowledge. Sensing an opportunity, the Sith ordered his death, and Darth Tyranus took over the project without the Kaminoans noticing.
With the Sith in control of the cloning project, every clone got a biochip that guaranteed they would all follow Palpatine when the right time came. It was almost impossible for a clone to resist following Order 66, but their genetic code was also modified in other ways. All clones were built to be less independent and aggressive than bounty hunter Jango Fett, their genetic template. Most importantly, their aging process was greatly accelerated to ensure they would be ready for combat faster and constantly resupplying the army. Because of that, the clones eventually retired or died off shortly after the Clone Wars (as depicted in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) ended. Furthermore, as revealed in Obi-Wan Kenobi, some Clone Wars veterans even ended up abandoned in city streets, forgotten by the Empire, with no family to turn to.
The Clone Troopers Weren’t Needed After Order 66
After Order 66 caused the deaths of Jedi all over the galaxy and Palpatine became the Emperor, the need for clone troopers greatly decreased. During the first years of Imperial rule, they acted as stormtroopers, but eventually, cloning production halted, and the Empire began recruiting regular humans instead. Due to their accelerated growth, the remaining clones were deemed unfit for military duty and retired.
A small number trained new recruits for the Empire, but some fought against their programming and joined movements to restore the Republic. In Star Wars Rebels, it’s revealed that a clone named Rex was part of the Rebellion and even fought in the Battle of Endor, but he was the exception, having resisted his programming during Order 66, albeit temporarily. Another group of clones, named the Bad Batch, worked as mercenaries in the years following the Clone Wars’ ending – but they were no longer of use by their government.
By the time of the original Star Wars trilogy, most Jango Fett clones had died, and they were completely extinct by Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which was several decades after the events of the prequel trilogy. The fate of the clone army is a tragic one when considering they were born to serve, and despite their loyalty to the Republic, were forced to betray it and later serve the Empire. Mass-produced, then discarded, their fate was sealed.
Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 2 Shows The Empire’s Betrayal Of Its Clone Troopers
Obi-Wan Kenobi season 1, episode 2 “Part II” shows that not all surviving Clone Wars veterans had the means to retire or find lucrative opportunities and that, sadly, some ended up as beggars in the city streets of sketchy planets like Daiyu. Obi-Wan, who adopts the name Ben in order to hide in Tatooine, is himself a war veteran. And much like the abandoned expendable foot soldiers of the Empire, he still bears the emotional scars of war. Desperate to track Leia Organa in Daiyu, Obi-Wan mutters to himself “If ever I needed guidance, Master, it’s now,” referring to Qui-Gon Jinn. As soon as Obi-Wan says the words, a beggar asks him for credits, and when he turns to meet the voice, the beggar is revealed to be a Jango Fett clone. Wearing the iconic clone army armor but with a streak of blue, indicating that he was a lieutenant, the ragged veteran holds out his helmet where Obi-Wan drops some credits, prompting a nod of thanks.
Obi-Wan Kenobi‘s forgotten Clone Wars veteran is even played by The Book of Boba Fett‘s Temuera Morrison – who also famously played Jango Fett – giving Star Wars‘ abandoned war vets a face and voice that’s truly rooted in the Empire’s history. This particular scene in the second episode of Obi-Wan Kenobi is the first time Star Wars tackles a specific real-world problem: war veterans becoming beggars in the streets due to a lack of institutional support. While Star Wars viewers have always known that the Empire has no retirement plans for the clones, only Obi-Wan Kenobi actually shows the dark reality of how some clones end up like destitute war veterans in the real world.
Next: Who Is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Brother?
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